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Summer Blockbusters 2018: Ant-Man and the Wasp


Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly in Ant-Man and the Wasp.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

RATED PG

Marvel has released the anticipated sequel to the surprising Ant-Man with Ant-Man and the Wasp.  It stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne, Lawrence Fishburne as Bill Foster, Michael Pena as Luis, Hannah John-Kamen as Ava Starr/Ghost, Walton Goggins as Sonny Burch, and Randall Park as FBI agent Jimmy Woo.  It is directed by Peyton Reed.  It takes place around 2 years after the end of the first film.

Let us get caught up then.  Scott Lang has been put on house arrest for two years after his violation of the Sokovia Accords in Germany helping “Cap” Captain America during a skirmish between the Avengers. (Can you say “Civil War”).  He has just a couple of days left of his sentence before he is a free man.  He has big plans to be with his daughter and start up the security business he has always wanted to get off the ground. Hope and Hank Pym were unware of Scott’s plan to help “Cap,” and have been estranged from him ever since.

The film opens with a Young Ant-Man and his female sidekick trying to stop a nuclear bomb in 1987.  The duo are actually Hank Pym (Douglas) and his wife Janet (Pfeiffer) fighting together to disarm the bomb.  Due to some complications with Hank’s suit, Janet shrinks herself down small enough to disarm the bomb but is thrown into the subatomic Quantum Realm where she has remained for the last 30 years.  (Remember in the first film Ant-Man (Rudd) also visited the Quantum Realm but was able to escape back to our reality quickly.)

Hank Pym and his daughter Hope have been searching for a way to get Janet back ever since.  They have been creating a tunnel where they can get to the Quantum Realm and rescue Janet.  They can open the realm for a few moments before the entire tunnel shuts down.  Later that night, Scott has a weird dream that involves a hide and seek game between Janet and her daughter Hope.  He contacts Hank and tells him about the dream.  Hank and Hope believe that this dream is a message from a connection between a quantumly entangled Scott and Janet, thus proving she is alive!

The team begins to craft a stable tunnel to be able to take a vehicle into the Quantum Realm long enough to rescue Janet.  As with all Superhero movies, it is never that easy.  Scott is just days away from being off house arrest and cannot be galivanting around as a mini Ant Superhero.  He is being monitored by FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Park) who has warned that he will go away for 30 years if he violates his house arrest.  His security business partner Luis (Pena) has been keeping the security company afloat but needs Scott to help with closing a big client to avoid bankruptcy.

Sonny Burch (Goggins) has been selling quantum parts to Hank and Hope for the creation of their tunnel.  He has realized that he can make more money selling the entire lab of quantum products on the black market.  He double-crosses the Pym family and attempts to steal the miniature quantum lab.  Wasp fights Burch and his men off, until she is attacked by a quantumly unstable “Ghost” character.

Ant-man tries to help Wasp but “Ghost” (John-Kamen) escapes with Pym’s portable lab.  Hank consults one of his old partners from S.H.I.E.L.D, Bill Foster, to help locate the whereabouts of his lab.  Bill has some secrets of his own, as he has been caretaker to Ava Starr a.k.a Ghost since she was a child.  Her father was another Hank Pym partner who died tragically in a quantum accident that made Ava phase through objects like a ghost.  She blames Hank for her father’s death and selfishly craves the Pym lab to help reverse her condition.

As if this is not enough, the Pym team has created a stable tunnel that will only be stable for 2 hours before it will be lost for a century.  It becomes a race against time for our heroes and Pym quantum team to locate their lab, keep Scott out of jail, rescue Janet from the Quantum Realm and avoid the F.B.I, Sonny Burch, and Ghost.  Sometimes big problems are handled when they are broken up into small doses.  Such is the case with Ant-Man and the Wasp.

Marvel has once again successfully tied another Superhero story into its vast Universe.  Ant-Man and Wasp takes us on a miniature humorous thrill ride that keeps us engaged to the very end.  Paul Rudd is brilliantly funny in this film and can be the only actor to play Ant-Man in my opinion.  His sarcasm and pithy antidotes make this movie a must-see this summer.  Ant-Man and Wasp speaks to the challenges of doing what is right, being a hero to our children first, and putting into practice the fundamental pillars of selflessness, trust, teamwork, and forgiveness.  All of which must be present in one’s belief system to be considered a true hero.

Ant-Man and Wasp takes us on a great action adventure through the eyes of a reluctant hero.  I find myself sympathetic with Scott Lang’s plight and root for him and his success.  He is the common man’s superhero who admits that he is flawed.  Like most of us he is figuring it out day to day, hoping that the next day is better than the previous one.  He reminds us that sometimes Great things come in Small packages.

Don’t forget to stay for the end of credits scene at the end of the movie.  It hints at the fate of the Marvel Universe moving forward. I give this movie a 3.5 out of 4 stars and a must see for all audiences this summer.

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